Volume 3

  • No. 12 December 2019

    Glaciers in retreat

    A Patagonian gull (Chroicocephalus maculipennis) flies over the Perito Moreno Glacier in southern Argentina. Glacier retreat causes extensive changes to glacier-fed biota across marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems worldwide. This will impact the structure of aquatic food webs, with potentially significant consequences for predators such as fish, mammals and birds. As generalist feeders, gulls should be able to adapt to these changes.

    See Cauvy-Fraunié & Dangles

  • No. 11 November 2019

    Testing the limits of life

    Hyperacidic and hypersaline ponds at the geothermal field of Dallol, Danakil Depression, Afar region, Ethiopia. Despite the presence of diverse extremophilic archaea nearby, this polyextreme environment is too severe for life to thrive. Therefore, the presence of liquid water at the surface of a planet does not necessarily imply habitability.

    See Bellila et al.

  • No. 10 October 2019

    Early projectiles

    Microscopic and morphometric analysis of Uluzzian backed lunates from Grotta del Cavallo, southern Italy, dated between ~45,000 and ~40,000 years ago, indicates that modern humans used these small lithics as hunting armatures and delivered them mechanically using a bow or a spearthrower.

    See Sano et al.

  • No. 9 September 2019

    By the light of the moon

    Ventral plumage coloration in barn owls (Tyto alba) varies from immaculate white to dark red. Analysis of how the moon cycle affects foraging and reproduction shows that moonlight impairs performance of the reddest but not the whitest owls, whose more reflective plumage might exploit light aversion in prey to improve hunting success under full-moon conditions. An adult female barn owl is depicted.

    See San-Jose et al.

  • No. 8 August 2019

    Bacterial life cycles

    Bacteria express a remarkable diversity of life cycles, but studying the organization and evolution of these cycles remains a challenge. Analysis in the phylogenetic group of the Bacilli reveals the modular organization of their life cycle and its evolutionary consequences. One of these life-cycle modules is colony formation, and the colony of one of the most potent colony formers, Bacillus licheniformis, is depicted.

    See van Gestel et al.

  • No. 7 July 2019

    Voyage of the potato

    A potato (Solanum tuberosum) herbarium specimen collected in Chile by Charles Darwin on the voyage of the Beagle. Analyses of historical genomes retrieved from herbarium specimens in conjunction with present-day diversity reveal the demographic and adaptive history of the potato following its introduction to Europe.

    See Gutaker et al.

  • No. 6 June 2019

    Ancient ape admixture

    Bonobos, together with chimpanzees, are the closest living relatives of humans. They are known for their unique sociosexual behaviour and are found in the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa. Their genomes carry traces from an unknown extinct ape lineage as the result of an ancient admixture event. A wild bonobo at the Wamba field site is depicted.

    See Kuhlwilm et al.

  • No. 5 May 2019

    Jellyfish genomes

    Genome sequencing of a scyphozoan and a cubozoan jellyfish sheds light on the evolution of medusa-specific structures. Adult moon jelly (Aurelia aurita) is depicted.

    See Khalturin et al.

  • No. 4 April 2019

    Mushroom phylogeny

    Mushroom-forming fungi (Agaricomycetes) have key roles in ecosystems, such as plant biomass degraders and mycorrhizal mutualists. There are over 21,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi, and they have diverse fruiting-body morphologies. These range from simple and crust-like to highly structured and gilled, such as Mycena interrupta (depicted). Analysis of the global diversity of these fungi reveals intriguing patterns, including a Jurassic explosion of both species number and morphological diversity.

    See Varga et al.

  • No. 3 March 2019

    Urban pollinators

    Bumblebees, such as this Bombus lucorum visiting an Eryngium flower in an urban allotment, are important urban pollinators. Analysis of plant-pollinator networks in UK cities shows that increasing the area of allotments and adding flowers to urban green space improves the robustness of city-scale plant-pollinator communities.

    See Baldock et al.

  • No. 2 February 2019

    Focus on coral reefs

    Coral reefs are among Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystems but are dramatically declining worldwide. The lower species richness of corals on degraded reefs can further diminish coral growth and survivorship, suppressing ecosystem function and leading to additional coral reef decline.

    See Clements and Hay

  • No. 1 January 2019

    Endless forms

    A celebration of some of the species that have featured in the pages of Nature Ecology & Evolution during 2018.

    See here for the names of all the species and the articles they appear in.